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Find Peer-Reviewed and Scholarly Materials

What is peer-reviewed?

Peer-reviewed, also called refereed, is a term that refers to journal articles that have been through a process where a panel of the author's peers (recognized scholars in their fields) have evaluated and approved the manuscript to assess the quality of research.

In contrast, scholarly articles are written by experts in a field who are often associated with a college or university. They are written for a scholarly audience, meaning other scholars, researchers, and students.

While all peer-reviewed articles are scholarly, not all scholarly articles are peer-reviewed. Also, some content in peer-reviewed journals (like book reviews, editorials, and letters) does not require peer review.

Peer review is a process designed to ensure the quality of published scholarship. Learn about peer-reviewed journals and how to identify them in your research.
Peer-reviewed journals are found throughout the library. Learn how to easily locate these journals in our collection.

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Finding Peer-Reviewed Content in the Library

Some databases contain mostly peer-reviewed content, while others like EBSCOhost and ProQuest require you to check a box typically labeled Peer-Reviewed or Scholarly. Check the box before or after you run a search to narrow your results to peer-reviewed or scholarly articles.

Use the Research Databases page if you're looking for peer-reviewed materials related to a specific subject. Choose your subject from the All Subjects drop-down from this list of databases that contain peer-reviewed articles.

Characteristics of Peer-Reviewed and Scholarly Articles

Peer-reviewed and scholarly articles have certain characteristics that differ from articles in popular magazines. Knowing these characteristics can help you quickly identify if an article is scholarly. Scholarly articles will:

  • Be substantial in length, often 10 pages or more.
  • Contain an extensive discussion of the research methods used.
  • Be written for other scholars or researchers in the field.
  • Have an extensive list of works cited at the end of the article.
  • Contain substantial statistical analysis.

They'll also contain most, if not all, of the following sections:

  • Literature Review
  • Methods or Methodology
  • Results
  • Discussion

Check out this example of what the different sections look like:

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